Piketty downunder: New book offers the Kiwi perspective on inequality, and why it matters for NZ business

First you had French economist Thomas Piketty's groundbreaking and internationally influential book "Capital in the twenty-first century", which argued that inequality is bound to increase because inherited wealth will always grow faster than earned wealth. This week Kiwi publisher BWB is releasing “The Piketty phenomenon: New Zealand perspectives”, a collection of NZ responses.

Piketty’s thesis Capital in the twenty-first century is the most-talked of tome on inequality since a similarly-named book by that German guy in the 1800s. It was hailed by The Economist as “bigger than Marx” and dismissed by the Wall Street Journal as “medieval”.

Since publishing the unexpected Amazon bestseller in March, the French economist has been feted by such influential bodies as the US Economic Policy Institute and the White House Council of Economic Advisors, as well as being reviewed in top newspapers.

The Piketty Phenomenon: New Zealand perspectives brings the debate to New Zealand, with independent assessments of Piketty’s findings. Contributors include economists Geoff Bertram, Donal Curtin, Prue Hyman and Brian Easton, journalists Bernard Hickey and Max Rashbrooke, and Cornell University PhD student Hautahi Kingi. 

“Piketty’s book is a bombshell, promising a Kuhnian scientific revolution:” Geoff Bertram

“Thomas Piketty forces us to view the economy in a different way. At the same time, he offers New Zealand a new opportunity to 

lead the world in our response:” Hautahi Kingi

“Piketty’s achievement has been to put wealth front and centre, in the spotlight. It is not now likely to vanish back into the shadows:” Max Rashbrooke

The Piketty Phenomenon: New Zealand perspectives is being launched on Thursday (October 23) with a panel discussion at the Royal Society in Wellington.

Idealog has three copies of the book to give away. For your chance to win one, comment below on why inequality matters in New Zealand.